Tips to Encourage Employee Engagement and Boost Morale

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Several indicators of organizational performance exist, including net profit, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. Two critical indicators of performance are employee engagement and morale. Employee engagement describes the enthusiasm and investment that an employee has in their job and the success of their group. Morale is the level of confidence and discipline for a task or goal. 

A Gallup study showed that organizations with high employee engagement saw a significant increase in productivity and over 80% reduction in absenteeism. Encouraging employee engagement and raising morale makes sense (and dollars and “cents”) for your organization. Let’s explore strategies for improving employee commitment and office morale.

An Engaged and Thriving Workforce

Before discussing approaches to improving morale, let’s consider the benefits of an engaged workforce. We’ve mentioned increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. Consider these additional benefits:

  • Less turnover: Employees committed to their work are less likely to pursue another job. According to Forbes, replacing an employee costs organizations from one-half to twice that employee’s salary, so worker retention is better for your bottom line.
  • Improved customer service: Engaged employees are better ambassadors of your organization’s mission and values, reflected in their interactions with customers.
  • Lowered employee stress and burnout: Stress negatively impacts engagement. Unchecked stress can lead to burnout, reducing productivity, quality, safety, and customer service.
  • Better collaboration and teamwork: Committed and connected workers are likelier to develop a team mentality, which can lead to better outcomes.
  • Lowered operational risks: Disengaged employees are less likely to pay close attention to their work, leading to costly mistakes and negligence regarding dangerous office conditions and other issues.

Employee engagement and high morale go hand-in-hand. When morale is high, your people are more invested in their work and organizational goals. They also perform better, feeling motivated to tap into their creativity and sense of teamwork to maximize value.

Building Strong Foundations

Now that we’ve outlined some benefits of high employee engagement and morale, we can discuss laying the groundwork for a connected and committed workplace.

Talk It Out and Listen Up

Clear and consistent communication is essential to developing strong relationships, especially in professional spaces. A culture of open communication is one where people freely share their needs and experiences. Active listening and two-way communication are critical to connecting with employees and having them feel heard and valued:

  • Active listening: This involves listening to understand what an employee is saying. Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal messaging to engage with team members. Active listening shows others that their thoughts and feelings matter to you.
  • Two-way communication: When two or more parties exchange information regularly, it builds trust and connectivity. When you offer and request feedback to team members, they’re more likely to be open about their perspectives, helping you to understand them better.

Plant the seeds for better employee engagement and morale with communication activities such as regular organization updates, town hall meetings, and one-on-one sessions.

Invest in Trust

If communication is a concrete foundation, trust is the cement that holds it together. When colleagues trust one another, they feel comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and expressing doubts. There’s a greater sense of belonging, and team members are likelier to work together to achieve objectives. Cultivate an environment of trust by:

  • Being open and transparent in thoughts and actions.
  • Soliciting feedback to demonstrate that your workers’ perspectives matter.
  • Encouraging meaningful communication among team members.
  • Being supportive, responsive, and reliable with others.

Trust is the MVP in an engaged and successful organization. Invest in it regularly and enthusiastically.

Be a Work-Life Balance Champion

Your employees are multifaceted individuals who have lives outside of the office. Work-life balance is essential for the well-being of your team. Improved physical and mental health, boosted energy, and motivation contribute to an engaged organization with good morale. Workers will engage more in an environment where their needs are essential. Promote work-life balance by offering flexible work schedules, encouraging paid time off use, and discouraging presenteeism (i.e., working while sick).

Strategies for Everyday Engagement

With communication, trust, and work-life balance as your organization’s cornerstones, you’re ready to employ these strategies to prioritize employee involvement and spirit.

Show You Care

Actions speak louder than words, especially when appreciating your employees. A culture of recognition promotes worker engagement and high morale. When team members are commended and rewarded for their hard work, they will feel more committed to your organization and its goals. Ways to acknowledge your people include:

  • Bonuses: Money talks, and it’s clearest when offered as a reward for hard work and high performance.
  • Gifts and rewards: Appreciation packages and employee rewards programs keep morale high and encourage employees to engage with their work.
  • Public praise: Uplifting team members in front of others helps them feel that their efforts are valuable to you and your organization’s priorities.

Even handwritten thank-you letters and cards can make a positive difference.

Create Growth Opportunities

Imagine planting a seedling and expecting it to grow into a lush, flower-bearing tree without sunshine, water, and other nutrients. It’s difficult for your staff to feel engaged in an environment of stagnation. Investing in their development shows that their growth matters to you and aligns with the organization’s mission. Strategies for growth include:

  • Training and development: Provide avenues for employees to upskill for career advancement and personal improvement.
  • Tuition reimbursement: Encourage team members to increase their education and technical knowledge with financial support.
  • Mentorship programs: Mentor and mentee relationships are essential to gaining experience and wisdom, turning today’s followers into tomorrow’s leaders. 
  • Sponsored workshops: A rising tide lifts all ships. Promote workshop participation to increase knowledge and strengthen bonds within and among teams. 

Team building, knowledge sharing, and collaboration reinforce the idea that individual development aligns with organizational needs and values.

Igniting Your Organization’s Success

By prioritizing clear communication, fostering trust, and promoting employees’ well-being, you can create a healthy organization where employees are engaged and morale is high. Committed and connected employees are your greatest resource. Take action today, employ these strategies, and watch your organization kick into high gear. 

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